bars of soap, nocturnal leg cramps

There is now a prescription drug (Requip) to treat RLS (restless leg syndrome). The only problem is that some people fall asleep during the day. This could be risky if they are behind the wheel. As far as we can tell, there are no side effects to putting soap under the bottom sheet.

Q. Several months ago I went to my neurologist for my yearly physical and told him about a problem I had with my legs “jumping” at night and waking me up. He gave me the technical name for it and wrote me a prescription for Mirapex. I then told him I had read in your column about putting a bar of soap in the bed, so he told me to try the soap and fill the prescription if it didn’t work. I still have the unfilled prescription sitting on my bathroom vanity. When we went on a trip to Yellowstone, I took my soap along and slept fine every night we were gone.

A. This home remedy mystifies us, but we have heard from many readers like you. The risk of unwrapping a fresh bar of soap and putting it under the bottom sheet where the legs will be is almost zero. The cost is far less than a prescription. Positive responses from other readers experimenting with Ivory soap remedy:

“A while back I wrote to complain that the bar of soap under the bottom sheet quit working for my restless legs. (It was great at first.) Then I got to thinking, it worked before, so why not now? That bar of soap had been there for six months, so I replaced it. The result: no more restless legs. A few times that I had symptoms, I put my feet on the soap and the sensations went away in about two minutes.

 “My husband was having severe leg cramps at night. Without telling him, I placed a soap bar under his sheets for two nights before he noticed. It worked! He’s had no more cramps. We still can’t believe it! “

“I have had severe leg cramps for years. When I read about putting a bar of soap in bed, I got a bar of Ivory and put it under the bottom sheet near my legs. It’s been a month since I did that, and I have not had one leg cramp.

Get The Graedons' Favorite Home Remedies Health Guide for FREE

Join our daily email newsletter with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies AND you'll get a copy of our brand new full-length health guide — for FREE!

  1. Sharon

    I have been using dial soap under my sheets for several years. A lady friend first told me and I felt like rolling my eyes but was desperate. Having leg cramps and walking the floor at night. Every time I change my sheets I take a knife and shave off the outside of the bar to reactivate the fragrance. Bar lasts a lot longer. Use the shavings on my outside plants in the summer. Keeps bugs off them. A win win.

  2. walter

    I tried it for one night, I was up every hour to pee. Never had anything like that happen before. I blame to soap

  3. Claudia Y
    West Virginia

    Awesome, Works Great!!!

  4. Denise

    This I just heard about and will try this week I also have restless leg and muscle spasms. Praying it works God Bless

  5. Cathy

    Have you ever heard of a treatment for restless leg syndrome for other times, like on planes ?

    • Ann

      I wish I knew of something to use on red-eye flights, especially to Europe. The last one my knees felt like they were being squeezed by a vise and alternated with the sensation that my knee caps were being ripped off. As soon as morning came I was fine. Return daytime flight pose no problem.
      Once a year I have acupuncture for my restless and it helps a lot. Now I have only a few bad nights a year as opposed to almost nightly, but it still offers no help on the plane.

      • Lorian

        I find that this works well in my bed, but I too am dreading my next plane trip. I’m going to experiment with putting the soap inside a small foot pillow and resting my feet on it. I have a friend at work who sews, and I’m going to ask her to make me a pillow with a “soap pocket” that snaps closed to hold the soap inside.

        • Karin

          Great idea or try soap bar shavings in your socks or hosiery, or perhaps in your shoes themselves.

  6. Bob

    It just works GREAT!!

    • Alexandra

      Any specific kind of soap? Thanks!

      • Leeann
        Erie, PA

        My doctor told me to get Dial soap. Four days and no leg cramps!

What Do You Think?

We invite you to share your thoughts with others, but remember that our comment section is a public forum. Please do not use your full first and last name if you want to keep details of your medical history anonymous. A first name and last initial or a pseudonym is acceptable. Advice from other commenters on this website is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. Stopping medication suddenly could result in serious harm. We expect comments to be civil in tone and language. By commenting, you agree to abide by our commenting policy and website terms & conditions. Comments that do not follow these policies will not be posted. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Your cart

Shipping and discount codes are added at checkout.